Monday, September 30, 2013

What a Weekend~Sweet Otto and Stormy Weather!

 JOY JOY JOY! Holding a sweet little sleeping grandbaby in your arms. We had him for almost 4 days and you really get to learn his habits and figure things out a bit with that much time together. I know I have been posting a lot of baby pix and baby stories, but it really hit me this weekend, how blessed we are to have this baby in our lives. We had given up on grandchildren, really. You never know what God's plans are for you or your loved ones. Anyway, this is a little miracle baby and it has been so fun to have him in our lives. The weather was horrid this weekend...storm after storm battered the Northwest with rain and wind! We were happy to stay in and care for a baby. Being retired is great! Just feed and change and hug and play with the little monkey man all weekend long.

It was hard to get his little smile. This is a picture that Angie sent to me. He is all smiles now when he sees you or when you change him. So cute.

He had a little cold, so he was sleeping with his little mouth open. I think it's so cute.

Don't you love the happy face on his grandpa? Sweet, sweet, sweet!

Of course he does have his crying times and fussy times. When he wants to eat, you better be ready.

This is the first time I gave him a bath. I gave him one in the sink as it is easier on the old grandma! It
brought back so may memories of bathing my own children as we lived in this house when they were newborns too. LaVonne gave me this hooded baby towel set to keep at grandma's and it was just perfect. She sure fixed me up with goodies.

After he had his bath, he went down in his littel bed for one more sleep before mommy and daddy returned. He has ducky fuzz hair like his Auntie Gina had. His dark hair is being replaced by a light almost strawberry blonde color. His eyes are still blue.

Jimmy picked up his mommy and daddy from the airport. When they got back, Chris ran, yes ran, into the  house and scooped the baby out of my arms! He was so cute. He said he missed Otto so much.
The house was pretty quiet last night without our little monkey man.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Baking Spices

It's a very wet and chilly evening tonight and I decided I needed to have a fire in the woodstove!
It nice and warm now. I have company coming by on Thursday afternoon to see my cottage and my grand baby. I will be babysitting this weekend so Otto will be here. He will be 2 months old tomorrow.
I have been looking through my recipes and will be doing some baking tomorrow. Jim will be coming back soon and I know he will enjoy a few fall goodies too. I do believe I need to bake something with pumpkin. I made a pumpkin bread a few weeks ago and that's always a hit around the Colantino's.

I'm going to make this soft pumpkin drop cookie with a cream cheese frosting. Looks soooo good.

Have you ever wondered what is in PUMPKIN PIE SPICE? Have you ever run out of it and didn't want to rush off to the store? Well, I looked it up and you can make your own. It's always nice to have fresh spices for holiday baking.


3 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1 1/2 Tablespoons Ginger
3/4 Teaspoons Allspice
3/4 Teaspoons Cloves
1 Teaspoons Nutmeg

Mix well and store in an airtight container

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome Fall and a Wonderful Fall Exchange Package

 I woke up this morning to a chilly house with the promise of a stormy wet day. I decided it was time for my flannel shirt and my sock and a nice big cup of coffee in my fun mug.

I joined a fall exchange with a group of ladies in our WE group. Morgan drew my name. She actually is the moderator and does a great job. We have been having a bit of trouble with our Yahoo group site, but she has been able to keep us going. Anyway, Morgan lives in Portland and guess what? We have the same birthday. I received my package from her a few days ago but wanted to save it for today, the first day of fall.

So, with my coffee in hand, I opened the box and look what was on top! Morgan does beautiful work and I was just thrilled to get something handmade by her....a beautiful fall scarf and a wonderful brown shawl which I have secretly longed for!  Everything was wrapped and packaged in fall colors and she had taped real leaves on several packages. Morgan, they traveled well.

A sweet card with leaves and lace and buttons...oh how perfects.

Look at my treats all unwrapped! A little loom, corn candles, fall napkins, tea, a fall hanging, a table runner, a tea time book, a little notebook (very Tasha Tudorish), a lovely glass candle holder,fall potholders and even pumpkin tea. Everything was so pretty and thoughtfully chosen.

This is a piece of fabric that is lovely and has all these words of fall on it. She suggested that maybe I could embroider it  and make it into something. I am thinking it needs some quilting too...maybe a pillow or a little fall bag? Fun to plan!

Isn't the scarf just beautiful? It makes me all warm and cozy just looking at it. I do love all the colors.

And here is the cocoa brown shawl that I was longing for. Isn't it lovely? It will be warm and toasty too.

In a tiny box was this locket from Morgan for me for keeping  a picture of baby Otto. I was very touched by this sweet gift.

Well, I was stunned by all the treats that Morgan sent to me. Thank you so much for making my day very special. You have blessed me greatly Morgan. Happy Fall to you and to all my friends. It is such a perfect time of the year with so many fun adventures ahead.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Northwest Quilting Expo

Yesterday I went to the Northwest Quilting Expo with my friend Nancy. We went to bible study in the morning and zipped off to the show. We even ate lunch in the car so we didn't waste any time! The show is filled with quilts and vendors and all sorts of things to drool over. It was fun to go with Nancy as she personally knows many of the award winning quilters. Nancy is an excellent quilter and she just makes me want to become a better quilter!

That's Nancy on the right. She's a long arm quilter and was buying patterns for her machine. I enjoyed watching her pick her new ones and it will be fun to see her finished work in the future. I could never be a long arm quilter!

Here's some of the quilts on display that I really liked. We both thought this would be fun not to worry about straight sides!

Enjoy the quilts!

Lots of quilting on this one.  It was just a lovely quilt.

I loved the woven sashings on this quilt.

This red and white quilt was made by one of Nancy's friends.

Another award winning quilt done by one of Nancy's friends. She does all the the quilting work with a regular sewing machine and handwork. I loved all the little details. Lots to look at and enjoy.

Here's a modern applique quilt. Isn't it just wonderful...little houses within a house.

Can you see the mice and the cats? I loved this one too.

Quilting has always fascinated me. Looking at such creative quilting is inspiring but it also makes me realize that I am truly a beginner! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tea Time Thursday #23~Tasha Tudor Day August 2013

Tasha Tudor Day is a day that Tasha's fans remember her and celebrate her life. It is August 28th which was her birthday. When Jim and I decided to go to Montana for our vacation, I thought it would be fun to be with LaVonne on Tasha Tudor Day! It has always been my dream to spend the day with her in Montana on her farm. At first I had the date wrong, but we were able to readjust our trip dates.

The funny thing was that LaVonne had the date wrong when we were there! I guess we were just having way too much fun and she just was off a day.

Jim dropped me of at the Stucky farm and LaVonne helped him with the map so he could take off fishing.

After he left, she had to feed the chickens and milk her goats. I went outside with her to watch.

We went into the barn where she feeds the goats and then she told me I was going to milk her goat Tasha. This city girl was a bit surprised, but how could you refuse to milk Tasha the goat on Tasha Tudor day? I'm sorry I didn't have her take a picture of me with Tasha. She had several goats to milk before I got to try. At first I could get anything to happen, but then I got it. The goat was so patient with me.

This is Buddy the goat. He is such a sweetheart. I just fell in love with him. He just stares at you, lovingly. I never knew I would like goats....well, at least I like LaVonne's goats!

She let the sheep out....Big Sky country for sure. What an amazing sight...don't you love the sky and the clouds?

LaVonne went in to change and I just watched the animals. I don't know what happened to me, but I got VERY emotional and the tears just flowed. I think I was just thinking about my past and the rural life that my family once lived. It is all gone now and it just made me sad in a strange way. I felt so connected to the land and the animals. Serenity Farm is just the perfect name for her farm.

Can you see the mama chicken and her babies? I tried and tried to get close and I just couldn't do it. She was so protective. They were so cute.

LaVonne took me out on her front porch and she had planned a tea time lunch for us! It was just all so pretty and just more than I had dreamed. She had sweet blue linens and blue and white dishes. She set a place for Tasha too as she is the reason we ever met.It was so pretty and special.

Smile LaVonne.....

Tasha's place with a cup of fig tea...

Fresh blueberries from Oregon in a crystal glass filled with ginger ale. Delicious and refreshing.

Oh so yummy....Tasha's recipe for custard, made with goat's milk. Fresh fruit,smoked salmon or spinach sandwich, salad with smoked salmon and fig balsamic vinegar. Fresh scones with blood orange marmalade, cookies and chocolate.

I felt like I really wasn't in this world. It was just like a pleasant dream. We had just about finished, when it started to rain, just a gentle rain. Refreshing.

But then it just started to pour rain...bucket of rain and then the wind came up a bit. We took all the dishes inside and the tea party was over!

The rain lifted and I took this picture from her driveway. I think it looks like a photo. Just beautiful.

We spent the rest of the afternoon going over all our Annabelle things. We want to finish up all the accessories that go with the book....all through the alphabet. It was fun to see what we had and what we would need to make or get.

This is the little quilt (as is in the book) with the bedding that I had made for Annabelle of Montana. It was fun to see it again as I had forgotten how I had made everything. I guess I was impressed with what I had created.

We went through all of Annabelle's home and dusted and rearranged everything. It was so fun and the day just slipped away. Do you see what this Montana gal has strapped on her leg? She has quite the gun collection!

When Jim returned from a great day of fly fishing, Chris played his Native American flute for us. It was just beautiful and we were honored that he wanted to play it for us. The perfect ending to a perfect day.

Thank you my friend for all you did to make Tasha Tudor Day so very special. I will never forget the day with you in Montana. It was wonderful in every way.